Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities
Family Obligations Following Divorce and Remarriage
Psychology Press – 1999 – 216 pages
This book explores the topic of family obligations following changes in family structure caused by divorce and remarriage. Family obligations are commonly defined as the rights and duties that accompany family roles. They have been described as the "glue" that connects generations, as well as the "oughts" and "shoulds" that surround individual family relationships. This book is primarily concerned with normative beliefs about what family members should do for each other. It differs from previous accounts of family obligation norms because it specifically focuses on family responsibilities after divorce and remarriage, two events that affect an increasing number of families today.
The authors draw extensively upon the findings of 13 studies of normative beliefs regarding post-divorce intergenerational family obligations. This book fills a gap in the present literature concerning family obligation. It addresses the weaknesses of prior research by focusing on family transitions and by presenting data from studies that employ contextual methods. The content will provide guidance to policymakers and helping professionals who work with families, and the unique focus and procedures of the studies are likely to set the standard for future assessments of normative beliefs about family obligations.
"Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities overall is an important addition to the divorce literature and is recommended to those interested in family issues."
"…Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities offers readers an important look at how the family is changing in significant ways at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century."
…"Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities is a solid empirical and theoretical resource in the area of family obligations and intergenerational relationships for family scholars and students."
—Journal of Marriage and Family
Contents: Preface. Who Is Responsible for Dependent Family Members? Parental Financial Support of Children Following Divorce. Mom's House? Dad's House? Parents' Responsibility to Assume Physical Custody of Children. Older Family Members' Financial Obligations to Younger Generations. Adults' Obligations to Parents, In-laws, and Stepparents: A Review of the Literature. (Step)Filial Obligations. Responsibilities to Elders After the Divorce of the Middle Generation. Building Models of Intergenerational Obligations. Appendices: Vignettes Used in the Family Obligations Studies. Methods.